You Mean It’s All Supposed to Make Sense?

 In Support for Struggling Readers

On long car trips, I would often read to my husband as he drove. I couldn’t believe how often I made a mistake! (Surprisingly often, they involved “mis-guessing” a hyphenated word – a main reason why HIP novels never break a word at the end of a line.) Then I would have to go back and reread the sentence – correctly this time – to make sense of it.

The reality is good readers make mistakes all the time! We misread a word, confuse a comment or misinterpret an idea. But what separates effective readers from ineffective readers is that good readers know when something doesn’t make sense and go back to fix up the mix-ups.

All too often, struggling readers don’t even realize when they don’t get understand a text. Or if they know that they don’t get it, they don’t know when they stopped getting it. And even when they can identify the point of confusion, they don’t always know how to correct it. That’s why the ability to monitor their own comprehension is usually the biggest gap between strong and weak readers.

When reading is easy, we just CLICK along with the text. But every now and then, especially when the text is challenging, we hit a CLUNK – something we just don’t get.  This language of CLICKS & CLUNKS comes from the Collaborative Strategic Reading model.  The word CLUNKS isn’t quite as loaded as “mistakes” and it’s a good reminder to readers that it’s okay to hit a CLUNK as long as you notice it and fix it up before you CLICK on.

Read about Clicks and Clunks, Remote Control Reading, and more tools for teaching self-monitoring comprehension.

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